PREGAME: Nate Robertson makes his return to the starting rotation, and it’s really hard to know what to expect. Do you draw on his 3-4 years as a slightly below average pitcher who will give you 6 innings, or do you draw in his last 2 years which have been ripe with injuries and ineffectiveness? He battled a hip problem which he never mentioned last year, and this year he had stuff in his elbow. His most recent history, be it at the AAA level is a rehab start where he fanned 9 in 6.2 innings on only 68 pitches.
He’ll go up against David Price. Price has nice strike out numbers (74 in 85 innings) but he has been vulnerable to the walk with 41 issued this year. He also has given up 13 long balls, but none in his last 3 starts.
This is a Fox “National” game meaning many of you get blacked out, but not as many as usual. Beyond Michigan and Florida it looks like Boston, Dallas, Minnesota, and the Dakotas will get this 4 pm tile.
POSTGAME: I’ve been a big believer in the theory that the Tigers pitching has improved this year because of the efforts to improve the defense. However, if someone had only watched the last 2 games I’d have a hard time convincing them. In Friday night’s game the defense had 3 misplays. In today’s game the defense had 4 misplays. That the pitching has held the Rays to 5 total runs is pretty remarkable.
Adam Everett was charged with 2 errors, but it looked like one should have gone to Polanco. Gerald Laird had a passed ball leading to a run. Miguel Cabrera battled the wind (which was screaming) and lost on a foul pop-up.
Robertson pitched well. He was limited to 4 innings because a) he had only thrown a max of 68 pitches in his rehab assignment b)the max came in his start Tuesday meaning he was following up on his longest outing on 3 days rest c) his innings kept getting extended and he should have made it through another inning.